Legendary actor Shakeel Ahmed, who mesmerized the audience with his acting and dialogue delivery in dramas like Uncle Urfi, Ankahi, and Aangan Terha, passed away on Thursday, state broadcasters reported. He was 85.
The veteran actor died of cardiac arrest after a brief illness, sources within the family told Aaj News. He was under treatment in a private hospital in Karachi for the last four days. He is survived by a son, a daughter, and a widow.
Actor Shakeel’s daughter would reach Karachi by a 6am flight on tomorrow (Friday), they said. The funeral prayers would be offered on Friday after Asr prayer.
His original name was Yousuf Kamal, but he was better known as Shakeel Ahmed. He started his career with Radio Pakistan He rose to prominence for his roles in PTV dramas. He was born on May 29, 1938, in the Indian city of Bhopal and migrated to Pakistan in 1952.
His roles in Uncle Urfi (1972), Mehboob Ahmed in Aangan Terha (1984) and Taimoor Ahmad in Ankahi (1982) are still revered by drama lovers.
Shakeel was in the showbiz industry for more than 50 decades. He was declared “heartthrob” by print media after his performance in Uncle Urfi and Parchaiyan.
“I pray to God that I can devote more time to humanity in whatever way I can before I die. I hope I have the strength to do it always,” he said in an interview with Dawn that was published on June 24, 2012.
Shakeel received Pride of Performance award in 1992 for his contribution to the world of show business.
He was also nominated for the Best Actor Drama Series in a Supporting Role at the 1st Indus Drama Awards in 2005.
The government conferred him with the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz on March 23, 2015.
Film fraternity, media mourn
The film fraternity mourned the loss of the legendary actor as they hailed Shakeel as the “pride of the country”.
“With a heavy heart i share the news that our dearest Yousuf Kamal SHAKEEL The pride of our nation .. the man who entertained us for the longest time left us today,” said actor Faysal Quraishi in a tweet.
“With a deep heart and great pain we announce the passing away of legendary actor Yousaf Kamal, popularly known by his screen name, Shakeel, after prolonged illness. His Namaaz-e-Jinazah will be held tomorrow,” the Pakistan Television Network tweeted.
Former Sindh governor Ishratul Ibad described Shakeel as “true legend” of the country.
Journalist Raza Rumi said that the late actor was a “creative legend”.
“Such a diverse oeuvre, unmatched performances. A life well-lived,” he tweeted.